Pew News Test: Rate Your News Knowledge

Results of my Pew News Test

After writing the last post, I was thinking about how ignorant Americans are of basic issues. Actually, I was thinking about how ignorant my liberal bretheren are of basic issues and civics but consider that a bit of tough love. I want them to get better. I really do.

I was checking out a couple of chapters from Rick Sheckman’s 2008 book, “Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter,” a compendium of factoids on American ignorance. It turns out we are dumber than I could have ever imagined.

The Pew News Research Center has an online test of news and political knowledge, though. You can test your own news savvy there. I scored 100%. Only 8% of people who take this test score 100%. I feel alone, though I recognize that I border on the obsessive. I’m not surprised that not everybody gets 100%, but I’m pretty shocked that anybody get ALL of the questions wrong.

Try the test out and see where you stand. It updates every few weeks, I think. I promise it won’t make you feel bad.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

8 responses to “Pew News Test: Rate Your News Knowledge”

  1. cowboypress says :

    13 of 13! Guess I’m a news junkie too!

  2. Pete Larson says :

    You are a winner.

  3. stumpwater says :

    Oh wow. I just scored 100% too, but it was certainly no great feat. I’m pretty sure my 4th grade daughter could get at least 8 of those correct. That only 43% of adults get 8 or more correct is just depressing.

  4. Pete Larson says :

    Yes, it’s pretty bad. Though, many people might have given up before finishing the entire quiz. Still, it’s bad that half get 8 or more incorrect. By random chance alone, we would expect people to get between 3 and 4 correct.

    Most people I know got 11 or more correct, though those who got fewer correct may just not be admitting to it.

  5. Leighton says :

    Interesting that some of the questions used pictures of people to identify. Does Pew assume people watch TV or read Newswek / Time? A good assumption, probably.

    Most of my info comes through radio or odd newspapers. Got lucky though and made 13/13.

  6. Pete Larson says :

    Yeah, I could have easily gotten them all wrong if the questions were picture-based. I never watch television. All my news is text-based. Sometimes, I’m not even sure how to pronounce some peoples’ names.

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